Child Discipline: What Really Works?

One thing I hate to do is discipline my son. He is such a good boy most of the time, but when he gets angry he is awful! Disciplining your child is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. It is important that they understand that you are in charge, not them.

I remember getting spankings until I was around 6 or 7 years old. I did everything I could to avoid making my mother and father angry. I haven’t spanked my son that often, but I have had to pop him when nothing else would work. Today, parents are looking for alternative methods of discipline and avoiding the dreaded spanking.

By the time your baby is 4 years old, you should have already laid down basic rules, no more than 4 or 5. The most important part of setting the rules is to stand by them. Go over the rules with your child whenever they break one. And do not try to explain yourself to your child. You are the parent, what you say goes.

Praise your child on any good behavior they demonstrate. This is reinforce the idea that having good behavior is much better than bad behavior. We spend alot more time scolding them for the “bad” things they do than on the “good” things. A simple “Thank You” is beneficial to your child.

Saying “no” makes a child very angry. It means that they do not get their way or something they want. Use a firm tone with authority, not an angry one. Make sure your child understands that when you say “no,” it means no. Don’t give in if your child continues to ask or plead; just stand by your decision.

Help your child understand the consequences of their actions or choices. For example, if you are resting and your child is playing too loudly, you can give them the choice of sitting with you and reading a book or going to play in their room until you come to get them.

The one that my husband and I have started using is the “time-out.” My son hates to sit still. If we have asked him to stop doing something or he yells, we tell him to go to the “time-out” room and think about his actions. Then we say when he is ready to talk about it, we sit down and talk. This works for most of his bad behavior.

There are many other alternatives; here is a list of sites for you to take a look at:

* * The Top 10 Tips for Disciplining Toddlers by Clare Albright
* * Positive Discipline For Toddlers and Preschoolers by Meg Berger, M.Ed.
* * Help! I Can’t Control My Four Year-Old and Don’t Want to Resort to Spanking! at